This past week I visited Chiang Mai and decided to walk the city and explore like a tourist and as a local (the wonders of looking like a foreigner and being fully Thai hehe). My cousin and I went around exploring the old ruins and beautiful wats (temples) in the city, I’ll post up photos of the drawings as soon as I have completed them. We even grabbed a tuk-tuk and headed out of town to Nam Phrai or the Grand Canyon as some call it; one of the most beautiful spots I have come across and lovely to swim in, especially in the horrendous heat this time of year. Despite the glaring sun we manage to squeeze some biking and kayaking in our 4 day trip as well. It was definitely a wonderful experience and much needed outdoor exploration! Chicken Goodness indeed :-)
For now lets talk little shops and boutiques down Nimmanhaemin Road (I’ve been to Chiang Mai several times but this was the first time I entered this street and fell in love with all the quirkiness and colours). As we walked down Nimmanhaemin we were suspicious of whether it would just consist of commercial cafes and shops, however 3 minutes of walking into the street and we came across that gorgeous window display (above) and had to enter. The store ‘Ginger and the House’ had quirky bits of clothing, jewelry and other accessories, bursting with colors and oozing the typical Thai style. However, unlike the shops in Siam it had a bit of Chiang Mai/Hilltribe charm which got us picking on lots of knickknacks. The display itself was adorable, sort of like an ‘Asianified’ (if I may) version of Anthropologie. Definitely a store worth scavenging through (and I say this after we scoured out 3 floors of the shop).
Our next stop was literally across the road from Ginger, a book store called BookSmith. It has a mixture of Thai and English books. There were fiction, travel and lots of creative books, exactly my kind of place. Other than books it even had cute little gifts and stationary, mostly handmade I presume. The corner that caught my eye was the paper jewelry bit – the display and the products themselves were adorable. I know paper jewelry has been around for a while now but I have only seen them in pictures so it was definitely pretty cool to see them up close. Even bought a pair of earrings!
There were plenty other boutiques that I would love to visit, but we reached Nimman quite late and most of the stores were shutting. We did manage to squeeze a lovely leather shop in towards the end and bought ourselves some handmade rings before heading out for dinner. The shop had gorgeous Chiang Mai influenced leather bags and I would have definitely indulged in some but we were late to meet a friend and had to rush off. I don’t recall the name of the shop but I am sure you won’t miss the store or any of the interesting boutiques if you give yourself about 1-2 hours to walk down that road! Just a little area of Chiang Mai for you if you are keen on random bits and bobs.